Over this weekend, many of the adults and children in our Congregation are taking the opportunity to share together at our “Everybody’s Invited Church Camp” at the CYC Campsite at Burleigh Heads. Just over 30 people have stayed at the campsite and many others have joined in over the weekend as ‘day-trippers’. Rev Beth Nichols (the Presbytery Youth and Families Support Project Officer) has been assisting in our camp program by leading us through a range of activities and opportunities to grow in faith together and learn about each other as a Christian Community.
Meanwhile on the home front at Ashmore, Rev Ian Wilson, from Southport Uniting Church has generously accepted the invitation to lead our worship service at The Church of the Good Shepherd today. Ian is a member of the Presbytery Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC), which has oversight of the movement of ministers within the Presbytery (among many other things related to Pastoral relations with the Church). He will give some guidance and information about how the process should unfold as we move into 2014 at Ashmore Uniting Church in response to my announcement made last Sunday.
For those who were not at worship last Sunday, I would like to put into my Foote-notes a small summary of my ministry situation at this stage.
I have been the Minister at Ashmore Uniting Church for the past 8 years. We generally have tenure of between 5-10 years in a ministry placement. At the end of September, I was asked to allow my name to be put forward for a specialized ministry placement at another Gold Coast Uniting Church. The placement is focused on a ministry called “Crossroads” which is specifically for adults over 18 years who have a disability. The second area of ministry is specifically for families.
A number of potential candidates were interviewed a fortnight ago and the Joint Nominating Committee (JNC) has selected me as for this role. So it is with very mixed feelings but with a very clear sense of call that I have accepted this placement at Newlife Uniting Church – Robina from 15th January 2014. I will be specifically serving in the two areas of Crossroads and Families. My closure service at The Church of The Good Shepherd will be at Ashmore on 12th January 2014.
The next step for our Congregation at Ashmore Uniting Church is to prepare a Congregational Profile that identifies who we are and what our vision and mission is. Then the Presbytery will complete a Partnered Appraisal to compliment our congregational profile so that they can help us find the most suitable person to serve the congregation into the next phase of ministry in the coming years.
As you can imagine, such a process doesn’t happen overnight, so there will be a period of time where an interim minister will provide supply ministry here at Ashmore while the Joint Nominating Committee (JNC) do their work. The JNC will be made up of four representatives from our congregation and two representatives from the Presbytery. I am very confident that our Church Council and other leaders in the Church will ensure that the work of God will continue to fulfill the vision that God has given us to be ‘reaching out, changing lives’.
Last week in our Heart of Worship series, we looked at the role of the Good Shepherd who cares for His flock (23rd Psalm). We were reminded that we need to be a listening and prayerful church if we are going to hear God’s voice. Secondly, we must commit without question to the direction in which God leads us. I shared one of my foundational scriptures that guides me in my faith journey, from Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and he will direct your paths.
May the Good Shepherd guide your paths ….this week……Rev. Brad Foote